It has been a month of finding old friends and footage, in the blog post below I talked about how I found my good friend Dave Rapella from Torrance CA. Well in the past week I have tracked down the bass player from Bad Manners John “Northern” Thompson. John and I go way back to a time when we were signed to Cherry Red Records with two other mates Dominic Silvani and Gavin Abbs. We had a band called Penelope’s Web, or for football chanting purposes, “The Web.”
1990/91: Penelope’s Web was a great band and a great time, we would rehearse at Backstreet Studios 313 Holloway Road, run by my good friend John Dalligan. We would, or I would normally have to go and drag Dominic out of bed in those days, and after his cup of tea with about 16 sugars we would rehearse. We had a patron in those days, his name was Robert, can’t remember his last name, strange chap, but really nice. He would pay for things like studio, rehearsals and breakfast at the café.
We rehearsed at Backstreet a lot in preparation for our first and what proved to be only gig at Wolves Polytechnic. I have the show on tape, luckily it is great quality and preserves that one moment in time. Dominic had/has a brilliant voice, a rich mix of unemployment and Eaton, to this day he is still unemployable, he always said he would be, Unemployable was to be the title of our first album.
Below is a track called "Rags" from the Wolves Poly night, I have no photos of us together, would love some.
John was brilliant, we spent several days recording and playing footie in the park and sleeping in this strange little room, where we spent the best part of the night drunk and farting. Woodbine Street was a great and fun experience, we were recording for Cherry Red Records, and John Rivers was excellent, he has produced many top name acts including The Specials, Fun Boy Three, Dead Can Dance & the late Nikki Sudden.
After the recording we just waited for the release of what was a 12” EP, for the kids, it means it plays on both sides. Northern John wrote the b-side, a track called Low Sun, the a-side was a great track called Potboiler. One track did not make the 12' called Political Nightmare, shame, great song. I have just one copy, but have seen it going on ebay for upwards of $50. that's 30 quid!
In the past couple of years there has been a German record label called Firestation Records releasing what they call the "Sound of Leamington Spa." Penelopes Web is slated to be on one of the future releases, which is cool as it means the songs get heard by more than myself and my kids.